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Walnuts: Are they a healthy addition to your diet?
27 Jan' 21

Walnuts: Are they a healthy addition to your diet?

 

 

What can you include in a variety of dishes, from cereals to salads, that are crisp, satisfying, and tasty while still being excellent for your heart? The answer is ridiculous. While all nuts are high in critical nutrients, walnuts may be especially beneficial to cardiovascular health, according to a recent study published in the journal Circulation, which backs up previous findings.  

  

What exactly does the research project?

  

The Walnuts and Healthy Aging research were a randomized controlled trial that followed healthy older persons in two towns and was funded by a grant from the California Walnut Commission. The walnut group had somewhat reduced average levels of dangerous low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol after two years. It's worth noting that about a third of the participants were on cholesterol-lowering statins, so both groups' average cholesterol levels were already within normal limits. According to the study, the cholesterol-lowering advantages of walnuts may be more obvious in persons who have high cholesterol levels. There's no way to tell if this is true based on present data. 

"This current study confirms what prior research has found, namely that eating walnuts appear to decrease cholesterol levels." 

  

No additional weight, lower levels of dangerous blood fats 

  

The concentration and size of LDL particles were also studied by the researchers. Atherosclerosis, the development of fatty plaque inside arteries that is the characteristic of most cardiovascular diseases and resulting in heart attacks or strokes, is more likely to be triggered by smaller, more dense LDL particles.    

In walnut eaters, these smaller particles were discovered in lower concentrations. They also showed lower levels of IDL (intermediate-density lipoproteins), which are connected to an increase in cardiovascular risks. Despite the fact that a half-cup of walnuts contains roughly 370 calories, walnut eaters did not gain any weight. 

People who eat nuts on a regular basis are less likely to develop heart disease, according to previous research, with many studies focusing exclusively on walnuts. Dr. Tobias and colleagues published a meta-analysis and systematic review of research in 2018 that looked at how walnut consumption affects blood lipids and other heart-related risks. The evaluation includes 26 randomized controlled studies with a total of over 1,000 participants. Walnut-rich diets were linked to decreased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, the most common type of fat in the bloodstream, according to the study.


Read more Are Beans Keto-Friendly?Here's What Nutritionist’s Say

  

What makes walnuts unique?

Walnuts are particularly high in alpha-linolenic acid, which is a beneficial unsaturated lipid found in all nuts (ALA). This is a precursor of the heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which can be found in fatty fish. Although the efficiency with which our bodies convert ALA to EPA and DHA differs from person to person,    

Furthermore, walnuts are typically consumed raw. As a result, they have more antioxidant properties than roasted nuts. (Antioxidants aid in the prevention or reduction of artery-damaging oxidation, which is linked to heart disease.)  

  

Including walnuts in your diet is a good idea

If a half-cup of walnuts per day seems excessive, keep in mind that even half that amount may be helpful. In reality, the FDA allows some nuts to make a qualified health claim (including walnuts). The following statement is allowed on foods produced with them: "Eating a diet that contains one ounce of nuts daily help reduce your risk of heart disease." A quarter cup of walnuts is an ounce of walnuts. 

 

For expert advice on diet and nutrition click here

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